tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC September 22, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
>> that's fantastic. that's awesome. >> and the beat continues tonight. donald trump is going to be on with stephen colbert and john kasich is going to be on with seth myers. that's it for us this hour. thanks for watching. i'm steve kornacki. "hardball" starts right now. pope francis arrives in america. he's coming to congress. is the pope gonna play political hardball? good evening. i'm chuck todd here in new york, in for chris matthews. he's attending the funeral of his aunt eleanor. we begin tonight with the historic scene just outside of washington, just hours ago at joint base andrews, formerly known as andrews air force base, the pope landed in the united states for the first time. and this was the scene.
[ cheers and applause ] >> the holy father was greeted by the president, the first lady, their children, the vice president, his grandchildren, and a host of dignitaries from around the country and from the catholic church here in the united states. but buckle up, because the next few days will be nothing short of a remarkable visit. this papal visit includes a meeting with the president at the white house, an address to a joint session of congress, and yet another address to the united nations' general assembly in new york later in the week. he'll also hold a mass in philadelphia and visit the largest prison in the city of brotherly love. folks, if you look at that schedule, one thing is clear. this holy father is not afraid to dive into politics. not afraid to take sides on different issues. in fact, let's meet this pope. let's meet his politics. this is a different image of a pope than we're used to seeing here in america.
pope francis talks differently, acts differently, and frankly even dresses differently than his predecessors. he's traded in the vatican her s say diaz for a ford fiat. he believes evolution is real and the big bang theory is real. he's washed the feet of convicts and muslims. he's made it cheaper and easier to get an annulment and here's what he said about homosexuality. >> and the pope even reportedly met with a transgendered man at his home after receiving a letter from him. in addition to that, he has weighed in on nearly every debate that's taken place in our political america, to hailing u.s. diplomatic relations with cuba. he was a back-channel mediator
in that deal. pope francis has notably skrited more with the political left of late here in the u.s., and has spoken emotionally and compassionately about the migrant crisis that's taking places all across europe. but this is a country and political system that also symbolizes many of the siills a successes that he has denounced. for the 68 million catholics in america and for all of us tuning in, what message will he deliver during this historic visit? and how will it change our politics or will it? how will it impact the debate? i think everybody on both sides of the aisle is going to feel uncomfortable by something pope francis challenges them on this week. we're going to kick off tonight's special coverage of the pope in america with our own luke russert. he is outside the papal nunsio. hundreds have been gathering there since this afternoon. luke, you've, talking to folks. tell me about this crowd and how they're feeling and whether
we've seen any glimpses of him in the window. >> reporter: chuck, i can tell you, when the pope arrived here, the crowd numbered in the hundreds, they were loud, enthusiastic, and so grateful to see the pope. albeit, it was for a few seconds when he came to the doorway, dressed in his white robes, waving to catholic schoolchildren who were in front of him. but people were able to make him out from where i am, about 50 yards away. i'm actually on joe biden's front lawn here, essentially. and as far as what the crowd is, i was really struck by how many children were here. a lot of parents brought their children. a lot of children sort of rushed up to the front of the fence. and were just so happy for their moment with the pope. and you could also see that resonate with the parents themselves. the crowd was majority latino. i spoke to a lot of them in spanish. they came from places like honduras, salvador, argentina, mexico, and a lot of them said that they felt this pope was theirs. and of course, that is something we've heard often. the first pope from latin america has really tried to
connect outside of europe, outside of the united states. this sort of traditional power centers of the catholic church. that was very evident today from what i saw with this crowd. now, there are still a few people here. i can say probably number around 40 or 50 with the hope that maybe he comes to the window. this pope is sporadic. maybe he goes across the street for a cup of warm milk and a chocolate chip cookie from joe biden or something. but a few i spoke to said they'll be here at 4:00 in the morning to serenade him with traditional spanish morning songs. i hope the pope likes to be sung to at 4:00 a.m. >> he won't be needing to set an alarm, although he may be dealing with jet lag, of course, and all of that. anyway, luke russert, well done. it was great, the spirit that you helped translate earlier there today. good work, sir. i'm joined now by former rnc chairman, michael steele, he's a devout catholic. kelly o'donnell is at the white house, our irish catholic friend
there. and andrea mitchell the in washington. andrea and i, we've got our own faith that we'll be dealing with as soon as the sun goes down, which we're deciding goes down right at 8:01 tonight, right, andrea? >> exactly. >> kelly, let me start with you. because i think the moment when we expect pope francis to potentially insert himself into our political debates or impact our political debates is when he does that speech to a joint session of congress. where there's anticipation on the left and right, of what he might or might not say. what have you heard from the rank and file elected members of congress on what they hope to hear on the left and what they hope to hear on the right? >> reporter: and it will be notable, chuck, because the holy father will be speaking in english for their speech. he will be using his native spanish during other visits here while he's in the united states. so that is notable to begin. there is a really strong sense of anticipation, because in politics, tone can really matter. and there is something for both
conservatives and liberals and those in the middle, when it comes to this holy father on issues. one thing we've been told is that senior leadership in both parties does not want this to lack like or feel like the kind of state of the union address where there is the jumping out of your seats and cheering and applause and predictably partisan lines. they don't want any of that. they want to see the holy father make his message known, have it received with some decorum, no shaking of hands as he's coming in the door, that kind of thing. so i think it won't have the political theater that it might otherwise have, but in terms of issues, talking about the environment, talking about the unborn, there are things that for the left and the right will push buttons that they will agree, some they will not, and so this will be very significant. as you've pointed out on our coverage earlier in the day, both john boehner and nancy pelosi are catholics. and boehner, the speaker, has been trying for 20 years to get a pope to come address a joint session of congress.
so this is not a typical experience. there are lots of world leaders who come to the hill and meet people and meet the members of congress in small group settings and occasionally these big addresses, but this will be different. a first on many levels. >> andrea, i want to read you this quote from politico today. it said here about the anticipation of the pope. democrats are quietly diplomating, republicans are plainly nervous, the parties have done a role reversal. republican catholics seem to visibly squirm when asked about francis' latest ventures into the political arena. they've adopted the democrat's previous posture, sew deference to their spiritual leader and downplay any political disagreements they have with them or more succinctly, duck. and one thing you were very well versed on was the role the pope played in cuba in resparking this relationship, which has been politically divisive on capitol hill. >> well, indeed, he will, i
think, try to gloss over that. and according to anne thompson and the conversations that they had on the flight from cuba to the united states, when did talk to reporters, he is on a pass churl mission. so his emphasis is going to be on family in philadelphia, certainly, and on ways that people can bridge the divide. but clearly, he has a position on the iran negotiations, which the republicans, many of them, are not comfortable on. most of them, in fact, if there are no republican votes in the senate for it. and he was certainly not comfortable with the u.s. position on cuba until he became the mediator, really, for the nsc. and it was he who brought the two sides together and finally melded that into an agreement, including the trade for allen gross, for the return of the accused cuban spies. so i think that in the speech to congress, he is really going to try to soft pedal that. i think he will feel impelled to speak about the migrant crisis
and the human suffering caused by the civil war in syria. >> no doubt. i think that's going to be a bigger issue than perhaps folks are predicting. michael steele, republicans today, senate republicans, where it was timed, on purpose, or just coincidence, they had a major piece of anti-abortion legislation that failed. democrats blocked it. it was the so-called 20-week bill about banning abortions after 20 weeks. do -- are republicans nervous that this pope isn't going to push the life issue the way previous popes have? >> i think they are a little bit nervous about that. and i think they only have to look to the pope's own rhetoric in that area, where he himself has emphasized that that is not all that we are about. as christians, as catholics, that there are others that we also must concern ourselves with. so this vote was specifically timed wibl, to sort of reemphasize the importance of this issue, at least politically, for the gop. whether or not the pope takes up
that particular issue in his address to the congress, i doubt he will, directly, remains to be seen. but, again, a lot of republicans are concerned about it, even on the climate change issue. you have one congressman, republican congressman saying he's going to boycott, which i think is outright silly. because you don't know what the pope is going to say about the issue, per se. but, again, those types of issues make the gop nervous. and i'm a little bit surprised by it. because i think if you listen to what the pope says, it's consistent with the teachings of the church and consistent with the gospel, and there's nothing to be nervous about there. >> you would think, michael, let me ask you this. you're -- you know, you're a devout catholic. is there a -- shouldn't there -- isn't there enthusiasm among conservative catholics that there is now both parties sort of openly merging faith and policy? you know, some people are uncomfortable with that, period. and sometime that's been a divide between the two parties. but should there be more openness, even if they don't agree with the way he's doing it that, hey, here's somebody
that's pushing the democrats to embrace the idea of converging faith and politics more? >> well, you would think that would be the case, chuck. because if you step back from what the pope has said publicly, from, you know, his initial comments about who am i to judge, to his more recent comments on the climate, he has not strayed way from church doctrine and church teaching. so the fact that he's able to bring both the left and right into this new space, i think, would be something that would be welcomed by both sides, to begin the dialogue, the important dialogue, that translates into policy, that translates into legislation for those in legislature around the country, to begin to consider that moral component, yes, but the underlying christian value that he's bringing to the conversation. >> andrea, what is the one issue that you think he could be influential on, and maybe even change the dynamic on capitol hill, even if it's -- is it the refugee crisis? >> yes, it is.
i think just the humanity of the suffering that is seen -- the fact that he has called on everyone to bring people into their homes, he's got to be able to communicate that, without it being a political issue. now, there are four legislative days to work on all the budget crises. he's not going to get involved in that -- >> we don't need the pope getting involved in the government shutdown. >> but if he could change the tone on capitol hill, that, as you were referring to earlier, would be such a blessing, if i may say so, because they don't communicate. and at least on this, john boehner and nancy pelosi are agreed that they shouldn't have the various members of congress trying to grab him as he walks up the aisle. and they've agreed on comedy in the old-fashioned sense of that. >> well, that's good to hear. i think everybody listen on their best behavior. kelly o'donnell, andrea mitchell michael steele, thanks for kicking things off.
and we have declared, it's not yet sundown. coming up, with pope francis here in america, democrats and republicans are hoping this visit will help them push some issues that they care about for democrats. and it's an aggressive plan to fight climate change. for republicans, it's abortion. we'll talk to senators from both sides of the aisle, catholic senators from both sides of the aisle. plus, we'll get a leive report on the extensive efforts to keep his holiness safe while in washington and philadelphia. and where does scott walker's support and more importantly his campaign apparatus go now? and who stands to benefit the most from the walker exit? and finally, the comments from donald trump and ben carson about muslims shine a light on a very real issue here in america, islamophobia, both in the race and in the country. this is "hardball," the place for politics. at mfs investment management, we believe active management can protect capital long term. active management can tap global insights.
announced her opposition of keystone pipeline. here was the former secretary of state late this afternoon in iowa. >> -- decided by now and therefore i couldn't tell you whether i agreed or disagreed. but it hasn't been decided and i feel now i've got a responsibility to you and other voters who ask me about this. and i think it is imperative that we look at the keystone pipeline as what i believe it is, a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change, and, unfortunately, from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with all the other issues. therefore, i oppose it. and i oppose it, because i don't think -- [ applause ] i don't think it's in the best interests of what we need to do to combat climate change. >> this issue has dogged clinton
for months, arguably years. and just last week she warned the white house that she soon would be announcing her position. her current chief rival bernie sanders has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline for months. and i can tell you when she was at state, it was widely assumed she wouldn't stand in the way of the pipeline. so in some ways this feels like a switch since she's on the campaign trail. of course, she never went on the record at the time. we'll be right back. just might be the one. to clean the oceans, to start a movement, or lead a country.
and welcome back to "hardball." we're back with more of tonight's big story. the pope lands in america, specifically in washington, d.c., and both democrats and republicans find themselves energized by the pope's historic visit. they want to make it count. republicans are making a major push on some social issues like abortions and democrats have just unveiled an aggressive plan to combat climate change. but the big moment in washington comes in two days when the pope will address a joint meeting of congress. it is expected to be highly personal and an emotional moment. we have two leading members of the senate joining us tonight. both are practicing roman
catholics. senator john hogan is a republican from north dakota, but we begin with the democratic senator from washington state, maria cantwell. senator cantwell, welcome to "hardball". >> good evening. >> let me ask you personally, what does the pope's visit mean to you? what does this pope mean to you? maybe differently than previous popes or not. >> well, i just want to point out, i was raised in a catholic family. what i really like about this pope, though, is his jesuit background. the jesuits taking a pledge to focus on the poor and the less fortunate in our society. and i think that that's what we've seen from this pope already. and one thing i like is he's also talked about our planet. and what we need to do to protect our planet and mother earth. >> what do you hope to hear from him when he addresses congress? >> well, i think he's been outspoken on some of these issues about the impoverished and challenged. everything from immigration to making sure, but i think this notion of thinking that we all need to work together to reduce
co2, that there are countries around the globe that basically are feeling the brunt of this, and have very little ability to deal with it, so, countries like the united states and china, taking on this issue, like we did in this energy bill today, saying, this is the way we can move forward on clean energy. so, you know, i don't expect the pope to, you know, endorse legislation, but i do expect him to help change minds about this issue. >> today, there was a vote on an abortion bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks. explain why you voted against it? >> well, this is an issue between a woman and her doctor. and i think we have now had so many votes on the issue to defund planned parenthood and every time we get close to a government shutdown, so this particular proposal, i want the choices of a woman's health to be between her and her doctor. >> and what do you say -- and i say this -- i bring it up, but obviously, this is a case where
perhaps you don't agree with the pope on this issue. and he may talk about this as well in front of congress. what do you -- how do you address that, as a catholic? >> this pope has made some statements showing great compassion on this issue of late. and i respect that. and, so, i don't know what he'll be addressing, as far as congress is concerned. but i think that the american people, just as they support moving forward on a cleaner energy strategy, even after all of this discussion, still support planned parenthood and think that woman should have access to health care. and i think they're probably a little tired of people shutting down government or saying we can't move forward unless we defund planned parenthood. >> all right. senator cantwell, aisi'm going leave it there. thanks for joining us on "hardball." now i want to turn to the other side of the aisle, senator john hogan, let me ask, what does this visit mean to you and what does this new pope mean to you? >> chuck, it's historic. i think it's inspirational and we welcome him not only to
congress, but to our country. and again, i hope that people will use this as an opportunity to really come together in many different ways. but i think it's inspirational and i'm very much looking forward to it. >> well, he's going to have -- you heard senator cantwell, and i think democrats hope the message of climate change is something that republicans embrace more. his message on climate change, what do you make of it? and has it made you take a second look at some of his thoughts and when it comes to, maybe, your faith and the environment? >> well, i think we have differences of opinion in regard to climate change. the real issue, though, is what you do about not only producing energy in this country, but better environmental stewardship. and i work all the time on encouraging and finding ways to advance the investments that will help us deploy the new technologies that not only produce more energy, but do it with better environmental
stewardship. >> do you believe his message on income inequality, is that something that you think, you know whab maybe we ought to address this differently? does that have an impact? we know on social issues in the past, many republicans have wanted the pope to have an impact. what about on some of these economic issues? >> chuck, i think that's a really good point. that's why i say, i hope it helps bring people together. i think we all want to help our fellow man. the issue is the underlying philosophy on how best to do it. and again, i think that's where we can come together, i hope, good ideas that we can reach some consensus on and do what will help advance some of the things that the american people want us to address in a way that's productive. >> all right. we're going to have this moment of comedy on thursday, where everybody is going to come together and i think it's going to be one of those non-partisan or bipartisan moments that makes us all feel good, makes you guys in congress feel good. he leaves and you guys are going to be fighting about whether to keep the government open. it's pretty clear, the senate will send a message that they're not going to be able to shut
down or defund planned parenthood, the way it's going to work. what is your message to house republicans once you send over legislation that won't have defunding of planned parenthood? what is your message to them? should they keep fighting this? is it worth shutting the government down over? >> chuck, in fairness, i think you have to look at what we're trying to do. the legislation that we're advancing provides the funding for women's health care. it's just that it provides it to community health centers rather than to planned parenthood. and i think that's what's getting lost in this debate. and i hope that people will focus on it and see that we're providing the full amount of resources to health centers for women's health. so, we're making sure that women's health is addressed. and i think that needs to be the focus, rather than jumping right by that and somehow saying, it's shutting down government. >> i understand that, but it's not going to get through the senate. mitch mcconnell has basically already said that. i know you guys are going to have the vote, do your best to get it. but, if this fight over -- is this fight over planned
parenthood worth shutting down the government over? >> i think that this is a debate that's going to continue, and i think if we look at the underlying effort, and that is that we are funding women's health, and i think long-term, we can win on this -- on the merits. >> you said long-term, but is it worth having this shutdown showdown? >> you know, again, i don't think that we're going to get into a government shutdown. but i still think we have to focus on the matter at hand. and that is not -- making sure that we're not having government funding of abortion, but still funding women's health. >> all right. senator hogan, i'll leave it there. i think i got you, i think you're saying it's not worth shutting the government down over. is that a fair characterization? >> we are trying to make sure the government is funded, but the government is not funding abortion. >> fair enough. thank you both for coming on today. appreciate it. >> thanks, chuck. up next, keeping the pontiff safe. unprecedented security measures are in place, as you might imagine, as pope francis makes
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♪ welcome back to "hardball" there. that was the pope arriving at the residence that he's staying at for the next couple of nights. he'll be spending two nights in washington, d.c. on the first leg of his birthday, it's basically the vatican's embassy to the united states. not technically an embassy, but the closest thing to it. the crowds have been gathering there since the this afternoon. they've got really big, they've shrunk a little bit. our own tom costello is there. and tom, obviously the security issue in washington, d.c., here in new york, there's one as well, but in washington, they have shut down a huge thoroughfare, unprecedented security. how they doing?
>> massachusetts avenue, anybody who's ever come through washington, driven up embassy row, you know that mass avenue is a major thoroughfare, and it's essentially shut down for all northbound traffic. just to give you a sense, this is, right now, the nunciature behind me. this is essentially the vatican embassy here in washington. on this side, you have the norwegian embassy. on that side, you have the swedish embassy, and across the street, the vice president's residence. he has a very good neighborhood to spend the night in and tremendous security here. we had probably, i would guess, 500 to 600 people here. on the other side of the street, when the pope arrived, mostly hispanics, spanish-speaking people, who are very excited that the pope was here. they were singing and they were praying and they were dancing, entire families were here, playing the guitar. it was really, i must say, a very moving afternoon. with so many people, so many of the faithful here, to greet the pontiff, as he arrived. for the most part, they've now spread up.
they've left, for the night. occasionally, you might hear some people go by and yell off to the pope in spanish or english, but for the most part, the crowds have diminished and it proves it will likely be a pretty quiet night here. but he has a very busy day ahead. meeting with the president in the morning, then he goes to st. mathe mathe mathews' cathedral for a meeting with bishops. in the evening or late afternoon, he goes to the basilica for mass. it will be a busy day tomorrow, and we haven't even talking about the next day and the next day. it's going to be a busy few days for this guy. >> tom costello, appreciate it. and of course, we learned from luke earlier that he'll be serenaded at 4:00 in the morning. so he's going to have a big wake-up call. kasie hunt is at the basilica on the campus of the catholic university are pope francis will say mass tomorrow. casey, the scene at catholic university, i know there's been so much excitement on campus there for weeks about this visit. >> they've been preparing for
this week, chuck, for -- excuse me, for this for weeks. and you're right, there are tens of thousands, literally, of chairs set up behind me that they put down one at a time in preparation for this mass. and this is a place where i don't think we'll anticipate very many political issues cropping up, we could easily see the pope go off script. he'll be in the popemobile, coming down the michigan avenue, not that far from here, before he enters the basilica, they've got it crossed off with caution tape inside. he'll walk outside and then he'll give a mass to the anticipated 25,000 people who are going to be here. they are going to do communion, but they're only going to do bread for those people who are here. the only people who will be partaking in wine will be the clergy who are in attendance. but i think at this point, we're probably anticipating that you were talking to some about the potential political implications of this visit. and weill jeb bush and colombo bush, his wife, are anticipated
to be here, that address will probably wait until thursday. >> between the u.n. address and congressional address, he's got plenty of places to send those messages. i'm guessing this is about faith. kasie hunt, thanks very much. let me go specifically back into those security measures. they're in place to guard pope francis during the six-day visit to this country. the pope is suspected to draw millions of onlookers across three cities. he'll be using an open vehicle for his public appearances that start tomorrow. in case, it's known as a popemobile, and it's not a mercedes anymore, it's a jeep wrangler. and it's equipped only with a glass front and roof. when asked about his decision to use an open vehicle last year, the pope simply told reporters that it's true, anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age, i don't have much to lose. it is in god's hands. i'm joined now by nbc justice correspondent, pete williams, because it is not in god's hands, it is in the secret service's hands. you've been reporting all day, the secret service, they're very
nervous about how open this pope is. >> they are. they've gone to the vatican, studied his movements, looked at his security people, and it's a balancing act. the pope wants to do what he wants to do, they have a mission to protect him. and it's the same struggle that political figures go through who are protected. but they can't grab on to the pope the way they would the president, hold him by the belt. so it's a new thing for the secret service. certainly not ever protecting a pope. they've done it before on previous visits. but all the open air events and all these three cities, the trips in the popemobile. so how do they do it? for one thing, anytime the pope is around really big crowds, including the parades where he's in the popemobile or the open air masses, the crowd that's there, even lining the streets, will have to go through magn magnetometers. they'll be screened before they can even get there. that's the first thing they can do. the second thing they can do is a massive police presence. a massive presence of local police in those three cities,
washington, new york, and philadelphia. and all hands on deck from all sorts of federal agencies from the coast guard to the fbi to the atf and all the other three-initial agencies that you can think of. all have a big role here. traffic will be greatly restricted. that little car that the pope is riding in would be great for finding a parking place in washington, if there were any places to park. but parking has been greatly restricted. traffic closed off. and it will be kind of a moving thing as he goes around. traffic will be closed off around the white house for many blocks, around the capital when he's there. at the basilica when he's there. at st. mathews' when he's there. and the same thing will be repeated in philadelphia and new york. philadelphia presents the greatest challenge, they're not as accustomed to these kind of events as new york is. yet they have their own handful with the pope coming and the president coming and the u.n.
general splassembly, with 70 he of state, all of whom need to be protected. . >> new york and d.c. know how to do this, it is philly where everybody's a little bit more nervous. pete williams, i know you'll be busy this week. thank you, sir. up next, then there were 15. you name all 15 still, by the way? the republican field did shrink by one. a surprising one. and with that development on scottwa walker, which one of walker's former rivals has the most to gain? this isn't about percentages in the polls, folks. this is about staff and activists on the ground. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. vo: today's the day.
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volkswagen ceo apologized again for the emissions scandal that has shocked consumers. and eu ministers say they will work to relocate 120,000 refugees throughout europe. the plan is meant to help overwhelmed countries cope t influx of migrants who are fleeing is fleeing syria and iraq. now back to "hardball." i will suspend my campaign immediately. i encourage other republicans presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. >> well back to "hardball." scott walker's final request upon exiting the race yesterday was for his fellow republican candidates to follow his lead,
so that an alternative might emerge to face down donald trump. the timing of walker's decision came as a surprise to many, as political reports, many staffers learned of their impending unemployment on twitter. a look at the real clear politics polling average for walker's short-lived campaign shows everything you need to know about his boom and bust. once considered a promising candidate and the iowa front-runner was mostly downhill after he led the field briefly last april. the latest poll from yesterday showed a drop nationally less than 1%. now candidates like marco rubio, jeb bush, and even ted cruz and frankly carly fiorina are hoping to inherit some of walker's former staff and key supporters. but when asked if he would support cruz's endorsement, donald trump shrugged off the question. >> do you intend to ask him for his endorsement? >> i don't think so. i think he knows the different players. don't forget, i'm very much of an outsider and i think it's probably a little bit tough for him to do. >> walker, of course, is now the second republican to drop out of the race following another governor, a former governor in that case, rick perry, earlier
this month. both seem to have had learned a hard lesson about the 2016 cycle. if at first you don't succeed, you don't succeed. you don't get a second look. at least with a faeield like th. i'm joined now by the roundtable. clarence paige, pulitzer prize winning columnist from the "chicago tribune." and jonathan allen is a political reporter with vox. jonathen, let me start with you on walker fallout. who's going to stand to benefit the most? he had an extensive infrastructure in the early states. forget -- we know he didn't have a lot of support right now, but he had an infrastructure, let's say you're krmpb krcarly fiorinu desperately need one, you could help her. who benefits the most from walker exiting on that front? >> yeah, there's a huge walker implosion primary going on, in terms of his donors and that infrastructure that you were talking about, in terms of aids aides. i'm not sure and it doesn't seem sure at this point that one person will benefit from it. i think that's the problem on the republican side right now,
is no one knows who the establishment candidate against trump is going to be. and if those people, those donors and staffers divide among those other candidates, donald trump ends up being the big winner of scott walker winning the race. >> speaking of trump, melinda and clarence, take a listen to this. "60 minutes" today released a clip. the clip they released is on an answer that they had tried to get from him and why trump didn't correct the anti-muslim questioner at that event last thursday. here's what trump said. >> it was a testing moment for a man running for president. >> i don't think so. >> you never know when their coming. >> i don't think so. >> but here you had a bigot that you could have slapped down -- >> you don't know that. he asked a question. you don't know that he was a bigot. >> "a problem in this country and it's muslims"? >> let me ask you this. i love the muslims. i have many, many friends. people living in this building, they're muslims. they're phenomenal people.
but like evaluation, you have people where there are problems. now, we can say, there are no problems with the muslims. there's no terrorism, there's no anything, they didn't knock down the world trade center. to the best of my knowledge, the people that knocked down the world trade center, you know where they -- they didn't fly back to sweden. >> you know, melinda, that to me is perhaps the debate that we should be having or the conversation we should be having is, there is a lot of islamophobia in this country, and frankly the only thing many americans see when it comes to islam are the extremists. they don't see day-to-day muslims and this may contribute to it. >> well, i think this is very dangerous rhetoric and this conversation, if donald trump keeps talking about mexican immigrants and muslims, the way he has been, and, you know, muslims the way ben carson has been, i wonder, to couple what you're asking now with the
question about what the fallout from scott walker is going to be, i think that the big ben or the one who's going to inherit support and is going to win out of this is almost destined to be marco rubio, at this point. because the republican party will have to show that they're not anti-immigrant. they're not someone who looks different or has a different faith or a different skin color. i really think that he is going to be coming in for a lot of second looks, as walker is getting out, and as trump keeps talking like this, and as ben carson keeps talking like this. >> and scott walker was talking about looking for an optimistic message. marco rubio has probably arguably been the most optimistic of the candidates when you hear him talk. clarence, this larger question here, trump defended his comments by saying, hey, who was it that knocked down the world
trade center? and it gets back to this larger question. there's a strong case in here that the way americans, what they see of muslims, on the news every day, is only, basically, people that are perverting the religion and conducting terrorism. >> well, that was what george w. bush said to his credit, after 9/11. he stood with islamic leaders, here in washington, and said that those hijackers are perverting islam. they are hijacking islam. and that the -- that islam is a religion of peace. that was a very strong statement. very important for him to make. and you remember a lot of the islamophobic attacks we feared might happen didn't happen after 9/11. and trump is just the opposite. he's running a campaign against political correctness. he's told us so. we need to take that seriously. as a result, he is undermining the republican message, which is to say that that racism is not a big problem, that islamophobia
is not a big problem. you notice how little they've mentioned it at all unless questioned during these debates about racial issues and all, although polls show it ranking very high as a concern of the american people. and trump is blowing that whole game now. he's making the whole party look like it is harboring racism and islamophobia, whatever else he may say. and a lot of people in the party are delighted that east flouting political correctness, which they see as a liberal conceit trying to sensor conservatives. so we have this shadow campaign going on here, chuck. >> and it's the way he's defining political correctness. it's not really political correctness. it's really racism in some cases and just plain old good manners in others. and he's just putting that label on it. >> well, i'm going to do a pause here. all of you are coming back after the break. you're sticking around. up next, we'll try to tackle the top story of the day. the politics of the pope's visit. the first visit he's made here,
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oh yeah. i can almost taste it now. tastes like victory. and pepperoni... ben carson has been dealing with more questions over his statement to me on "meet the press" that he would not advocate a muslim for president. here he was at a press availability earlier today. >> it seems to be hard for people to actually hear english and understand it.
i said i would support anyone regardless of their background if, in fact, they embrace american values and our constitution. and are willing to place that above their beliefs. >> mitt romney is weighing in. mitt romney the first mormomton presidential nominee tweeted this last night. of course, no religious test for the presidency. every faith adds to our national character. we'll be back after this. hey babe, last one home cooks? ♪ ♪
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side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your doctor about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. >> and we are back with the "hardball" roundtable. clarence, melinda and jonathan are all here. the politics of the pope's
visit, the impact it could have on congress. jonathan allen, you spent time covering congress. talk about the anticipation where the pope could have some impact on this current congress. >> there's anticipation and anxiety. i think there are times where republicans will feel uncomfortable particularly when he's talking about immigration and climate change, republicans -- dat democrats will feel uncomfortable when he talks about a culture of life. the one place he might be able to be have sway is talking about the refugee crisis, the international refugee crisis. he doesn't have to talk about it in specific terms. this is something that cros party lines. humanitarians on the right, humanitarians on left. what you've got in this country, i'm not sure the public is ready to take in all the refugees. there's been some hesitancy on the political level. i think that's a place where he can make a difference. >> melinda, david said to me on sunday he thought the pope was going to present quite the
contrast to what we've seen on the political trail and in fact, that could have a positive hangover on the campaign once it sort of resumes in the public consciousness. do you buy that? >> i don't know if that's true. if he means if it will have an effect on the campaign itself on the candidates themselves -- >> i think maybe the tone of the campaign a little bit perhaps is where he was going. >> i'm not sure i'm as optimistic as all that. i agree that the pope is most likely to move the needle on the refugee stuff. you know, when he has talked about this in the past, when he spoke in europe saying every parish has as the vatican has taken in two refugee families, every parish and every institution should take in a family, he said i'm going to give you some advice. we know what we're going to be judged on in the final judgment. matthew 25 tells us. we're going to be asked did you
help a refugee? and if you can say yes, congratulations. you passed the test. i think that kind of rhetoric is really difficult to have blow off from the pope. >> and clarence, quickly, bill richardson thought this pope could play a mediating role in a lot of world conflicts like he did with cuba. >> exactly. we know this pope has been very public about supporting the iran nuclear deal, for example. he sees us better off with it than without it. that's an issue where he can bring grassroots and change the tone in washington at least a little bit. >> we're always hopeful for a changing in washington. clarence, melinda and john, thank you all. "hardball" will be back after this. just might be the one.
that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. chris matthews will be back tomorrow. all in with chris hayes" starts right now . >> this bale of hay cannot be controlled. >> pope francis meets the president on american soil for the first time. tonight, the pomp, the pageantry and the politics of the papal visit. then the fight on the right to stop trump intensifies. >> trump wants us to think he's mr. tell it like it is, but he has a record and it's very liberal. >> ben carson's anti-muslim rhetoric turns into a